By Moses Ndung’u
The Laikipia Produce and Marketing co-operative society on April 28, 2015 held its third annual general meeting (AGM) at Sipili Catholic Church Hall, Ol-Moran Ward in Laikipia West Sub County. The AGM which was supported by Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) was also attended by Kilimo Biashara Profilers (KBP), cooperative officer and auditor.
The AGM provided members with an opportunity to discuss issues that included: minutes of previous AGM; cooperative elections; audited financial reports for 2013 and 2014; cooperative progress report.
Mr. Waweru Kanja, Chairman Laikipia Produce and Marketing Cooperative Society noted that as a result of engagement with other partners like ALIN, SNV, Eastern African Grain Council (EAGC), MEA Ltd, Kilimo Biashara Profilers, Kenya Seed Company Ltd and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock the cooperative has been able to reach out to its members with a variety of services and also has increased its membership, sales and community good will.
|Some of the cooperative members during the AGM|
“We intend to bring services closer to the people of Laikipia West Sub County. We will start by bringing agencies of various financial institutions to the doorstep of the wananchi by offering the services at a reasonable cost. It is time we developed our status, let us join hands and improve the living standards of smallholder farmers,” said Mr. Kanja.
According to the auditor, Mr. Karani, the cooperative has shown an excellent performance over a short time and could operate and expand comfortably within the next twelve months. He also advised on the need to plough back profits into the cooperative for the benefit of the members.
The Laikipia Produce and Marketing cooperative society has shown commendable performance and goal realization. On June 2013 when the cooperative was registered, membership was a bit low but within a period of one year the membership has grown to three hundred and eleven (311).
At the meeting, the realization of several objectives of the cooperative over a short span was outlined. This included a total summarized outcome surplus-profit-of Ksh 128,000 during the last fiscal year.
Mr. Anthony Githuku from the Department of Cooperative in Laikipia County commended the cooperative for ensuring farmers particularly from Sipili are able to access certified seeds and fertilizer at reasonable prices. He urged the cooperative to continue adhering to the cooperative principles in order to succeed.
As for elections, the member re-elected all the nine (9) members of the management committee. A new supervisory committee composed of three members was also set up to act as a watchdog.
The Laikipia Produce and Marketing cooperative society emerged from the work undertaken by ALIN through Ng’arua Maarifa Centre with the support of the Ford Foundation’s Expanding Livelihoods for Poor Households Initiative (ELOPHI). It is a vehicle for bulking, marketing and trading in farm commodities and other products and services.